It's been a busy month-and-a-half for the Observatorium team: here's our final update of 2015 which includes a few teasers of what’s to come in 2016.
The team has been attending various showcases around Scotland to get feedback on early chapters and mechanics. On 18th November we attended Games are for Everyone: Volume 3 at The Mash House in Edinburgh. The event took place during the evening and it was great to get feedback from an all-new crowd in a different kind of venue:
We also attended MEGAbytes Indie Showcase 2 on 12th December at the MEGAbytes retro gaming cafe in Glasgow, UK. It was a busy afternoon in the cafe and we managed to verify some changes made since our Edinburgh visit whilst gathering more feedback and suggestions.
Additional Chapters and Mechanics
Our coder/designer - Clive - has been working on additional levels/mechanics from Act 3 whilst addressing gameplay feedback. As mentioned during our November update, Act 1 deals with simple/static puzzles and Act 2 introduces dynamic puzzle layouts. Act 3 flips the gameplay on its head once again and ramps up the difficulty as the player pushes towards the finale. Here's a teaser of some of the sea-life you'll encounter in Act 3:
We're actually very close to having a rough pass of our primary routes and puzzles down. This is an important milestone for us as it means we're close to adding secondary/tertiary routes, additional story hooks and secret puzzles and pickups.
Additional Artwork and Environment Concepts
Our 2D artist - Jon - has been working on more environment concepts in additon to new background decorations. Here's a teaser of some assets from a building pack he's currently working on:
Jon has also been revising our existing sea-life assets in response to player feedback. Here's a screenshot of one of recent starfish and jellyfish puzzles from chapter 4:
Jon is continuing to experiment with how we'll be evolving the visuals as the game progresses; our plan is to ensure each chapter in our game has a distinct look and feel in addition to a unique set of puzzles and challenges.
Animations, Sound Effects and Soundtrack Preview
Our animator/composer - Peter - has been working on new animations and sound effects in response to feedback whilst working on new music tracks. We've finally setup a Soundcloud page to share some examples with our followers - first up is a sketchbook preview which demonstrates some of the emotions we'll be exploring through our story:
These are work-in-progress tracks and will continue to evolve as we push towards release.
We've also uploaded our custom Greenlight soundtrack (minus sound effects):
Stay tuned for more audio previews.
Progress Summary and Sea-Life Preview
Observatorium is progressing well and we're still aiming for a Q2 2016 release (we'll let you know if this changes). There's still a few secrets we haven't shared with you just yet but we will be dropping more teasers as we push towards release. In the meantime, here's a preview of some upcoming sea-life which behave very differently to anything we have in game so far:
Thanks for reading and we hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Clive Lawrence, Jonathan McEnroe and Peter Satera
-The Man Who Flew Away